Have you ever copy-pasted the content of one Microsoft Word Document to another? Have you tried to convert an HTML to PDF, keeping the structure? We did it. That’s why we know how challenging manipulations with document formats are. Especially, if you need to manage hundreds of docs daily.
Document automation can help you avoid document generation issues and routine tasks. Put effort into implementation once and enjoy automated document creation afterward. Automated document generation software will render personalized docs in the necessary format based on triggers. It will also store the copies for record-keeping and compliance.
This article explains everything you need to know about creating a PDF automatically. Learn how it works and what automated document generation software you need.
Document Automation: Terms and Definitions
Before deciding whether you need automated document generation software, you should understand what it does. Most rendering solutions have similar capabilities and features.
What is Document Rendering Automation?
Document automation is the use of document generation software to automatically create, format, store, and deliver electronic docs. Although it can happen in many formats, PDF is the most commonly used. PDF docs created from HTML CSS files support versatile formatting and ensure ultimate security. You can limit editing, enable electronic signatures, and manage access. Besides, the PDF format is an industry-standard in many fields.
Therefore, speaking of document rendering, we mostly mean PDF creation with automated document generation software. It may be any standardized doc, from paperless invoices to healthcare reports.
What Document Management Processes are Automated?
Automated document generation software significantly optimizes the work of many departments. Accounting, compliance, sales, and marketing teams win the most. They can focus on more complicated tasks, while the document automation PDF solution automates the following processes:
- HTML data processing. Automated document generation software accesses the necessary records from your database or CRM platform to complete a doc. Document automation PDF solutions create an HTML copy first.
- PDF rendering and formatting. Automated document generation software renders HTML to generate PDF documents. It adds headers and footers, page breaks, margins, and other formatting elements based on instructions.
- PDF copy storage. Automated document generation software keeps the copy of rendered PDF files to allow you to access them anytime. Most document automation PDF solutions use cloud storage.
- PDF display or delivery. Automated document generation software displays the created file on the screen or triggers a connected solution (e.g., email or direct mail automation tool) to send the document.
Document automation PDF solutions with more basic functionality only fill in PDF templates personalized with a template editor. They require more manual effort to manage than PDF generator APIs.
Who Needs It?
Automated document generation software can benefit any organization that regularly creates docs. It’s good for e-commerce businesses sending thousands of electronic invoices, order confirmations, and proofs of delivery. Law firms that want to optimize contract drafting also need automated document generation software. Finances, sales, logistics, healthcare, and government organizations are other frequent document automation PDF users.
When automated document generation software is offered as an API, the uses slightly differ. Premium and free PDF generator APIs are suitable for businesses that support web platforms and products teams. APIs allow integrating document creation into existing solutions as one of the features. We’ll talk about them in more detail below.
Key Requirements to Automated Document Generation
There are some rules you need to follow to automate document generation right. They are essential to process confidential data securely and meet industry regulations.
Interoperability of Systems
To create documents, you need to merge data from multiple data sources. PDF docs may include name, surname, contact details, prices, payment details, and other unique pieces of information coming from different channels. That’s why, to generate documents automatically, you need to order your data and ensure smooth data sharing between the elements of your system.
Compliant Document Management Practices
You should stay transparent about your document management practices and keep copies. It’s particularly critical in a highly regulated field like finances or healthcare.
Document copies and logs are your proof of regulatory compliance. When they are properly ordered, audits become much easier. You can show regulatory bodies that you generated and delivered the required documentation at the right time. Compliant document management practices also benefit your employees and customers. By following the rules, you increase the quality of document management. As a result, finding the necessary document takes seconds.
Make sure to limit who can access, view, and generate PDFs. It’s critical for data security and helps distribute tasks between teams. Not everyone in your company needs to view PDF files with confidential customers’ data. Unlimited access undermines security and significantly increases the risk of data leakage. Hence, choosing automated document generation software, remember to check for user role support.
How to Implement Automated Document Generation Software
For document automation PDF solutions, custom software development is a poor choice. It requires narrow expertise and takes too much time to pay off. Hence, to implement document automation, you should choose one of the available solutions, like premium or free PDF generator APIs.
APIs are the most secure way to layer the missing functionality into existing software. They allow you to combine several solutions into one platform with a single sign-on. For example, you own an insurance web portal and want to upgrade it with document automation PDFs. An API enables you to embed it with minimum code. After the integration, you won’t have to use separate web solutions or switch between accounts.
Apart from simple integration, premium and free PDF generator APIs have other tangible benefits. First of all, they are scalable. You can start with a basic subscription and grow to millions of documents. All you need for that is to upgrade the plan. It also gives you more flexibility and control over your spendings.
Premium vs. Free PDF Generator API
A free PDF generator API is not enough for large-scale document rendering. It offers limited document automation functionality and doesn’t have single sign-on or tech support. Free PDF generator APIs are suitable for testing and occasional use.
When you integrate PDF generator API with a web platform that has many end-users, opt for a premium subscription. Paid plans allow you to generate more documents, ensure advanced support, and provide a greater level of automation. You can grow the target audience and have a reliable partner to ask for advice and troubleshooting.
Inkit Render for Document Automation PDF
Render is a PDF generator REST API that automates document rendering. Connect it with your existing software for trigger-based PDF creation, storage, and delivery. Render is compatible with solutions written in top programming languages and ensures ultimate data security through user roles. It also provides ticketed and phone support for troubleshooting and other inquiries.
Render offers a free PDF generator API plan and premium subscriptions to fit every taste. You can test it to decide what functionality meets your needs best.
Check out Render’s pricing and available plans here to pick the one for you.